In order to know the effects of violent images, a study conducted at Ryerson University and published in The Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, tested gamers and non-gamers of both genders for their ability to recall shocking images from a selection of benign pictures. Theoretically, those “desensitized” to violence should be less likely to remember the unpleasant images, but the results showed they were just as disturbed as the non-gamers. This suggested that those people of sound mind, able to distinguish fantasy from reality, did not equate video game violence to actual violence .
Total US sales of video game hardware and software increased 204% from 1994 to 2014, reaching $ billion in 2014, while violent crimes decreased 37% and murders by juveniles acting alone fell 76% in that same period. [ 133 ] [ 134 ] [ 135 ] [ 136 ] [ 82 ] [ 83 ] The juvenile Violent Crime Index arrest rate in 2012 was 38% below 1980 levels and 63% below 1994, the peak year. [ 83 ] The number of high school students who had been in at least one physical fight decreased from 43% in 1991 to 25% in 2013, and student reports of criminal victimization at school dropped by more than half from 1995 to 2011. [ 107 ] [ 106 ] An Aug. 2014 peer-reviewed study found that: "Annual trends in video game sales for the past 33 years were unrelated to violent crime... Monthly sales of video games were related to concurrent decreases in aggravated assaults." [ 84 ]
In 2000, the County Council for St. Louis, Missouri enacted Ordinance 20,193 that barred minors from purchasing, renting, or playing violent video games deemed to contain any visual depiction or representation of realistic injury to a human or a "human-like being" that appealed to minors' "morbid interest in violence."  This ordinance was challenged in 2001 by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) as violative of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the first amendment. The IDSA cited the 7th Circuit case of American Amusement Machine Association v. Kendrick  as precedent suggesting that video game content was a form of freedom of expression, however in 2002 the Eastern District Court of Missouri ultimately issued the controversial ruling that "video games are not a form of expression protected by the First Amendment" in Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis County .